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Vectorial optical fields: recent advances and future prospects

Jian Chen;Chenhao Wan;Qiwen Zhan;School of Optical-Electrical and Computer Engineering, University of Shanghai for Science and Technology;Department of Electro-Optics and Photonics, University of Dayton;School of Electronic Engineering, University of Electronic Science and Technology of China;School of Optical and Electronic Information, Huazhong University of Science and Technology;  
Driven by their potential applications, vectorial optical fields with spatially inhomogeneous states of polarization within the cross section have drawn significant attention recently. This work intends to review some of the latest development of this rapidly growing field of optics and offer a general overview of the current status of this field in a few areas. Mathematical descriptions of generalized vectorial optical fields are provided along with several special examples. A time-reversal methodology for the creation of a wide variety of exotic optical focal fields with prescribed characteristics within the focal volume is presented. Recently developed methods for the generation of vectorial optical fields that utilize fiber lasers,digital lasers, vectorial optical field generator, metasurfaces or photoalignment liquid crystals are summarized. The interactions of these vectorial optical fields with various micro-and nano-structures are presented and the prospects of their potential applications are discussed. The connection of vectorial optical fields with higher dimensionality in quantum information is summarized.
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